Powerlifting Minimum Effective Dose Program

(2 reviews)
For people who want to build peak strength but don't have time with "optimal" training volumes.
Program Description

This template is aimed at lifters who want to experiment with a minimum dose training approach but do not necessarily want to do as little as possible. In addition to singles, this template contains a few back-off sets based on your top single for each training day, as well as 2x optional accessory slots for each training day at higher repetitions. You can expect to make meaningful strength increases in 6 weeks.

Program Overview

This is the SBD: Singles Only program variation. Program can be followed indefinitely (past 6 weeks).

  • Day 1: Squat, Bench, and 2 optional accessories

  • Day 2: Deadlift, Bench, and 2 optional accessories

  • Day 3: Squat, Bench, and 2 optional accessories

Who is Dr. Pak?

Dr. Pak did his PhD on “the minimum dose required for 1RM strength in powerlifters“, a project dedicated to understanding what the least a powerlifter can do is and still get stronger.

As part of his PhD, his lab and other collaborators undertook several studies on the topic, which included a comprehensive review of the existing scientific literature, conducting training studies, and interviewing some of the world's foremost powerlifting athletes and coaches. He also immersed himself in the subject of minimum dose training, focusing on the minimal requirements necessary for achieving significant muscle size gains.

You can learn more about Dr. Pak and training information on his website, instagram, and YouTube channel.

What does the research show?

In summary, their research revealed that powerlifters or individuals trained in resistance could significantly enhance their strength for a period of 6-12 weeks by engaging in a few heavy/high intensity of effort sets for each lift weekly. Furthermore, it was found that as few as 1-4 sets per muscle group each week could lead to meaningful increases in muscle growth for both trained and untrained individuals.

This does not imply that "a few sets" are all one needs indefinitely, but it suggests a viable strategy that might be beneficial when time or recovery resources are scarce, or even when training motivation is low.

The document he prepared includes a series of 6-week minimum dose style "templates" for hypertrophy, 1RM Squat-Bench-Deadlift strength, and a combination of both.

Program Overview
CoachDr. Pakverified coach
LevelBeginner, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced
GoalPowerlifting
EquipmentGarage Gym
Time Per Workout45 minutes
Days Per Week3 days
Program Length6 weeks
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Week 1
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Week 2
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Week 3
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Week 4
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Week 5
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Week 6
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
1
1
2
3
What People Are Saying
5.0/ 5
George S.Man
0 weeks complete
5 years of prior experience
More than expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
This is the best thing that has ever happened.
7 days ago